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The Boston Braves were an American baseball team that played in the National League from 1870 to 1953. The team was known by various names during their different stages of their stay in Boston, most peculiar among them being, the Red Stockings, Beaneaters, and the Pilgrims. The team was based at the South End Grounds from 1876 to 1914 and then the Braves Field from 1915 to 1952.
How did the Boston Braves Start up?
The Braves franchise had been founded in 1869 as a charter member of the National Association. The team was then known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. In 1976 following the dissolution of the National Association, the team joined the National League and were renamed the Boston Red Stockings. They would not adopt the nickname “Braves” until 1912. The name is believed to have originated from a Northeastern organization in Tammany Hall by the same name and to which the owner Harry Wright was a member.
The Braves in Competition
1876 was their first season in action and they finished in third place with a 39-31 record. They then won two NL Pennants in a row in 1877 and 1878. They had mixed results over the next few years and then won another pennant in 1883, then going under the name Boston Beaneaters. A further lull followed as they waited eight years to bag their next pennant, in 1891. They then won the 1882 and 1893 pennants to make it three in a row. The Beaneaters won a further two pennants in 1897 and 1898 before easing off the pedal until 1914 when they won the World Series.
Before they adopted the Braves Moniker in 1912, the team had gone by the Boston Doves (1907-1908) and Boston Pilgrims (1909-1911). Following the 1914 pennant win, success would elude them for more than three decades. During that stretch they finished closer to the bottom of the league more often than not. They would return to the World Series in 1948 but even then it was anticlimactic as they fell in six games to the Cleveland Indians. They struggled over the next four years, ultimately ending their time in Boston in seventh place with a 64-89 record.
The Boston Braves’ most Notable Moments
The 1914 World Series win is undeniably the most memorable season for the Braves. Not only did they win their only World Series ever that year but the fashion in which they won it makes it even more memorable. By July, they had only won 4 out of 22 games and sat in last place but then resurrected to win 12 out of the next 16. They then pulled off another impressive run that saw them overtake three time defending champions New York Giants at the top of the league. They won the Pennant by a whole 10.5 games and then swept the Philadelphia Athletics in four straight games to win the World Series. Shortstop Rabbit Maranville quipped that by the first month, gamblers had raised the odds against the Braves by 1000-1 and that by July it would have been 1,000,000-1. Such is the magnitude of the miracle Boston pulled off to claim their first and only World Series win.
The Braves’ most Notable Players
Jonny Evers was signed from the Chicago Cubs in 1914 and was a crucial figure during their World Series win that year. He batted .436 and fielded .976, the best among NL second basemen. He was voted NL MVP that year for his exploits.
Huff Duffy played for the braves from 1892 to 1900, perhaps the most successful period in Braves history in terms of trophies. Throughout his stay in Boston he had 100 or more runs seven times. His best season was 1894, in which he finished with 18 homeruns, 145 RBI and a batting average of .440.
Walter ‘Rabbit’ Maranville was known for his speed and small build. He played in three stints for the Braves (1912-1920, 1929-1933 and 1935). In 1914 he batted .246 and hit four homeruns, helping the Braves to the Pennant and World Series and finishing runner up in MVP voting.
Other notable players include Warren Spahn King Kelly, Kid Nicolas and Fran Selee.
What Happened to the Boston Braves?
Following the 1948 World Series loss to the Indians, the Braves descended into mediocrity and this saw attendance at Brave Park suffer significantly. Lou Perini, who then owned the team, relocated it to Milwaukee where it became the Milwaukee Braves. After 12 years in Milwaukee, the team then moved to Atlanta where it remains to this date and still retains the Braves moniker.